What’s the Best Time to Workout?
Hey-when’s the best time to workout?
I’m often asked when the best time to work out is. From a scientific stance, you could make two different arguments. On one side, the case can be made for working out in the morning. This is when hormones, like growth hormone, are at their highest and you can take advantage of this by getting a workout in.
However, a few studies have reported that human’s have the highest level of concentration of growth hormone in the later afternoon; usually around 3 or 4 o’clock. This can also be of assistance because you need that focus to avoid distractions and stay on point through a grueling workout. Plus, if you’re not a morning person, it makes life a bit easier.
We have scientific evidence to train at different times, but what’s the answer? Actually, it works out a lot better than you would think. The best time to workout is the time that works best for you. Kind of a crazy thought, isn’t it? In today’s fast paced world, life can throw too many curve balls at you to stick to a strict schedule. Nothing’s more disappointing than putting a workout off till later in the evening only to have a late meeting or a traffic jam force you to miss your session. I know people who were so motivated they actually worked out during their lunch hour; some worked right by home so a shower was easy. Others didn’t, and let’s just say they waited till their shift was over to shower. Not exactly my cup of tea, but yeah, you can’t fault them for making the time for exercise.
There really is no secret workout window to take advantage of. As long as you’re working out appropriately to your current level, following a proper diet, and getting to bed on time, your body will respond. This will happen whether you train at 7 in the morning or 5 o’clock at night. With me being a morning person, I know that I’m going to have my best workout if I get it in shortly after waking up.
With that being said, there is a time not to workout. It’s a safe bet that if you start a workout after 7 pm, you’re doing more harm than good. One thing we talk about here at UEFP is the relationship between health and sleep; and starting a training session that late is going to affect the natural mechanisms of your rest and recovery. Altered sleep is a good way to gain weight, increase stress levels, and possibly bring on disease.
Just like most things in fitness and nutrition, your workout time has to be something that works for you – not somebody else. Experiment with different times so you can find that sweet spot that allows you to enjoy your workout as well as helping your schedule. I always tell my clients to that it’s wrong to try and find time to exercise when instead you need to make time.